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Tropics to the Arctic 2017
Chile, Colombia, Iceland, Mongolia, Philippines, Russia, United States
Best time to go: May
25 Nights | from £107,500pp
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Holiday type: Group departure
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DEPARTING 1st MAY 2017 FOR 25 NIGHTS
- See Easter Island's iconic moai statues
- Visit a working pearl farm in French Polynesia and try some spectacular reef diving
- Encounter the rare tarsier and swim with whale sharks in the Philippines
- Attend a private performance of the Naadam Games on the Mongolian steppe
- Explore the 2,000-year-old city of Samarkand and browse a private open-air bazaar
- Tour St. Petersburg's awe-inspiring Hermitage Museum in private
- Visit the geothermal pools of Geyser in Iceland and take a dip in the world-famous Blue Lagoon
Click here to view the journey PDF >
Day 1: Fort Lauderdale | Your Journey Begins
Arrive in Fort Lauderdale and transfer to your accommodation at the Ritz Carlton, where you will meet your tour leadership team and fellow guests over cocktails and dinner, sharing the anticipation of the incredible adventures ahead.
The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale | Meals: Dinner
Days 2-4: Colombia | Colonial Grace
Set off on your private jet for Cartagena, Colombia, a bastion of well-preserved colonial architecture. Wander the streets of the Badillo neighbourhood and gather in a city square for dinner and dance performance. Experience local life up close at a "street market" displayed exclusively for you and sample Colombian coffees. Fly by private jet to Bogotá; to walk its historic streets, admire the magnificent buildings and absorb the lively ambience. Tour the Museo del Oro to behold its ancient golden treasures and enjoy a lecture by an expert in pre-Columbian art. Later, view works by contemporary artist Fernando Botero - as well as paintings by Picasso, Monet, Dali and other masters - at the Museo Botero.
Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5: Easter Island | The Lost World
Fly nearly 3,000 miles over the Pacific to one of the most remote and enticing destinations on earth: Easter Island. The island's iconic stone effigies, called moai by the Rapa Nui, are thought to be representations of the builders' ancestors. There are nearly 900 moai spread throughout the island; almost all of them face inland, in order to watch over and protect the island's living inhabitants. The grandeur of these figures is rivaled by the island's intense natural beauty, with a postcard-worthy view seemingly in every direction. Arrive to a greeting of flowers and warm smiles from your Rapa Nui hosts, followed by a sunset cocktail on top of Ranu Kau, a spectacular dormant volcano. Following dinner, enjoy a performance by local native dance troupe Kari-Kari. If this is your first visit to Easter Island, you may rise early the next day to hike along "the way of the moai," a chance to view many of Easter Island's famous figures up close, before flying to your next destination.
Explora Rapa Nui's Posada de Mike Rapu | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Days 6-9: French Polynesia
Fly by private jet to Papeete and then board a local charter flight to Rangiroa, the quintessential South Pacific paradise. Rangiroa is the authentic Polynesia, a serene place where many still make their living from fishing or pearl farming. Spend several days savouring the sunny, uniquely relaxed atmosphere of Rangiroa through a variety of activities, which you may pick and choose to your liking. Drift through an atoll of clear blue water to watch schools of brilliant tropical fish and darting reef sharks swim past; visit a pearl farm to learn how these treasures are harvested and purchase a unique souvenir; or simply relax on a lovely stretch of beach. Divers can don a wetsuit and tank for a dive in Tiputa and Avatoru, two of the country's finest dive spots. Take a day excursion to the Blue Lagoon to watch local spear fishermen at work, and enjoy a fresh lunch on the beach. Rejoin your private jet crew and depart for your next destination.
Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 10: Solomon Islands
Arrive by private jet at Honiara, the capital city of the Solomon Islands, and experience a lively welcome of flower garlands presented with a company of ceremonial warriors. Embark the next day for a visit to a village that opens a window onto life as a Solomon Islander. Witness demonstrations of many traditional island skills, including hot-stone cooking, coconut husking, sagopalm house building and natural medicines. The highlight of your visit is a bride-price ceremony arranged exclusively for you. This custom is still carried out using traditional shell money (tafuluae) offered by the groom's family; shell money is also used to purchase local staples such as food, canoes and even homes. End your visit with a lavish feast of stone-roasted motu (pig), fish and cassava pudding. Native dancers perform for you, and invite you to join them in an exuberant celebration. Return to your private jet for the flight to the Philippines.
*Cross the International Dateline en route to the Solomon Islands.
Heritage Park Hotel | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Days 11-13: The Philippines
Celebrate your arrival in Cebu, the Philippines, during a beachfront Playa del Fuego cocktail reception and dinner. The next morning, set out for Tagbilaran City, Bohol. Visit the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary at Corella for a chance to see one of the world's smallest, and rarest, primates in its natural habitat. Continue to the Chocolate Hills, a region famous for its undulating topography - here you have the opportunity to interact with local children as they perform local songs and dances. Enjoy a private performance by the renowned Loboc children's choir. Spend the next day enjoying your choice of activity. Swim with whale sharks and observe these magnificent creatures up close, enjoy a leisurely 18 holes at a nearby golf course or take your pick from the many activities offered by your resort. On your last evening here, take part in a local cultural feast featuring an array of traditional Filipino food and lively entertainment.
Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Days 14-16: Mongolia
Your private jet today brings you to Mongolia, where families of nomads still roam the plains on horseback as their ancestors did centuries ago. Board a local charter flight for the Gobi Desert, which lies between the Siberian wilderness to the north and the Tibetan Plateau to the south, and features Bactrian camels, mountain sheep, golden eagles and many endemic reptiles. At your comfortable ger camp, the night sky is awe-inspiring and an astronomer is on hand to lead an evening of stargazing. During your stay, attend a special presentation of the Naadam Games, traditional contests of archery, wrestling and horsemanship that speak to Mongolia's deep military history. Also visit the Flaming Cliffs with a local paleontologist and learn about the extraordinary dinosaur finds (including the first dinosaur eggs) made in this area.
Three Camel Lodge | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Days 17-19: Uzbekistan
Arrive to a rousing welcome in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, this one featuring musicians and local children in native dress offering flowers. The next day, set out to explore this incredible city, once the home of Tamerlane the Great, the warlord and scholar who led an army that swept westward as far as Cairo, Egypt. Visit the mausoleum where Tamerlane is interred, and at lunch, learn to make one of the region's signature dishes: rice pilaf. See the street acrobats at the local caravansary and visit local factories to see mulberry paper and silk carpets being made. Learn calligraphy from a local artist and take in a private musical performance. In Registan Square, gather for an open-air gala complete with your own private bazaar. Enjoy a folk dancing demonstration, musicians, fire jugglers and even a private fashion show. Hotel Grand Samarkand Superior | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Days 20-22: Russia
Fly north to St. Petersburg, the city shaped by one of Russia's enduring visionaries, Peter the Great. Experience "the Venice of the North" as its namesake intended with a private cruise along its canals. The next morning, meet with Mikhail Gorbachev's personal interpreter for a talk on Russia's current political situation, and then visit the Church on Spilled Blood, a superb example of Russian architecture and decorative art. After lunch on the grounds of the Peter and Paul Fortress, choose a tour of the Fortress, a visit to a ballet school or tea with a Russian artist in his apartment. In the evening, tour the Hermitage Museum during an exclusive, after-hours private opening, followed by a classical music concert. The next day, set out for Tsarskoe Selo (tsar's village), more commonly known as Pushkin. Admire its fabulous Baroque palace and enjoy a hearty Russian lunch. Continue to Peterhof, Peter the Great's attempt to outdo the Palace of Versailles, returning to St. Petersburg by hydrofoil. This evening, admire the stunning treasures at the Faberge Museum, with a private viewing of the exquisite Faberge egg collection, at the lavish Shuvalov Palace opened exclusively for you. Learn about the palace's storied history and enjoy a private opera and ballet recital before a sumptuous dinner.
Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Days 23-26: Iceland | Midnight Sun
Leave St. Petersburg behind for Iceland's scenic and charming capital, Reykjavík. Gather tonight for a special dinner of Icelandic delicacies at your hotel. The next day, head to Thingvellir where the Vikings established the first Parliament. Today, Thingvellir is a national park, a natural wonder and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the Geyser area's geothermal pools and see an eruption at Strokkur, which occurs every five minutes. The next day, choose one of these options: Take a four-wheel-drive tour of Iceland's most scenic areas, including lush and rugged Thorsmork with its low birch trees and surrounding mountains, glaciers and rivers; fly by helicopter to the enormous, dormant Thrihnukagigur volcano, which is large enough to house the Statue of Liberty and into which you descend; or take a dip in the aptly named Blue Lagoon, a spring-fed pool of mineral-rich blue water popular with bathers. At night, gather with fellow guests for a farewell dinner in an award-winning restaurant. The next day, travel to the airport to connect with your homebound flight.
Hotel Borg | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
From £107,500 per person, excluding international flights to the USA and home from Iceland.
If you have birthday or anniversary coming up, or just fancy throwing one heck of a party, why not celebrate in style. Whatever the occasion, we are brimming with ideas. Find out more...
Private Jet Flights
|Fort Lauderdale - Cartagena||2.5 hours|
|Cartagena - Bogota||1.5 hours each way|
|Cartagena - Easter Island||8.5 hours|
|Easter Island - Papeete||6.25 hours|
|Papeete - Honiare||8 hours|
|Honiare - Cebu||6 hours|
|Cebu - Ulaanbaatar||6.5 hours|
|Ulaanbaatar - Samarkand||5.5 hours|
|Samarkand - St Petersburg||5 hours|
|St Petersburg - Reykjavik||4.25 hours|
|Reykjavik - New York||6 hours|
Local Charter Flights
|Papeete - Rangiroa||1.25 hours each way|
|Ulaanbaatar - Gobi Desert||1.5 hours each way|
Our offices in Santiago and Moscow are managed by local teams of experienced and passionate travel professionals with intimate knowledge of Chile and Russia, enabling them to provide clients with great insight into these fascinating destinations, and ensuring a seamless experience every step of the A&K journey. With their long standing personal connections and networks they're also there to help you uncover local secrets and experiences, and to open doors to people and places normally beyond the reach of the ordinary traveller.
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May to August sees a warmer climate for Mongolia's summer, while the cold season runs from November to March. The traditional Nadaam festival takes place each July Fly To
Ulaanbataar's Chinggis Khaan International Airport
14 hours from London
GMT +8 hours
Visa required for UK passport holders
No yellow fever certificate required
Best time to be there
As the climate varies hugely from north to south, different places are best at different times, although spring (September to December) is universally good. Atacama can be visited year-round, central Chile enjoys a Mediterranean climate with good weather throughout. Patagonia is best for hiking in Spring or Summer.
LAN Chile daily via Madrid
GMT -4 hours
Not required for UK passport holders
Yellow fever certificate required if arriving from an infected area
Best time to be there
June to September is a great time to enjoy a mild ocean climate thanks to the Gulf Stream. It is relatively mild in winter and cool in summer but this is when you can enjoy almost 24 hours of daylight. The weather can change several times during the day. In midwinter, whilst there is little daylight, it is one of the best times to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis).
Keflavik, approximately 30 minutes from Reykjavik
3 hours non-stop
Not required for UK passport holders
Best time to be there
May to October is the best time to enjoy the summer days. Russian winters can be extremely cold, but if well protected against the elements, is a romantic time to visit.
St Petersburg (British Airways) or Moscow (British Airways and easyJet)
3.5 to 4 hours
GMT +3 hours
Yes, obtainable in advance
Best time to be there
At 38 times the size of the UK, there is always a part of the country having great weather. The peak season is from June to September.
British Airways fly to all the major cities in the States.
From -5 to -10 hours behind GMT
ESTA Visa required for UK Passport Holders